Guangzhou hopes for smoother traffic after Metro line launch

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 June, 1999, 12:00am


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Guangzhou Metro Line One was launched into public service yesterday to alleviate the city's serious traffic and pollution problems.

The 18.5 kilometre long railway connects the densely populated old area in the west and the booming new commercial district in the east. About 16.5km of the Metro line runs underground.

The Metro is expected to carry about 30,000 passengers per hour and direction through its 16 stations, and shoulder 15 per cent of the city's transport burden.

The 12.7 billion yuan (aboput HK$11.8 billion) project is financed by loans from the German Government and Development Loan Corp at preferential interest rates.

A consortium of Siemens and ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation made and supplied the trains and electrical and mechanical systems under a contract valued at 402 million deutschemark (about HK$1.66 billion).

The German consortium handed over the metro line to Guangzhou Metro Corp after providing personnel management and transferring technical know-how.

The metro's general project manager from Siemens Jurgen Schulze said the rate of return from the project was low, but his company had gained in the form of experience in handling large, complex infrastructure projects in the mainland.

'This puts us on the good ground for winning future projects here as we are committed to the long-term,' he said.

Siemens Turnkey System Division president Karl Neubeck said his company aimed at a 3 per cent to 5 per cent rate of return before tax in the long term. He said Siemens was interested in undertaking the projects for Guangzhou Metro Line Two.

The company had as yet only supplied equipment for the foundation construction of the 46.5km line two, due for completion in 2004.